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16th Apr 2023

Mum who turned son into police has ‘no regrets’ now he’s jailed for life

Charlie Herbert

Mum who turned son into police for knife death

‘Even though it was such a tough choice to make, I know I’d do the same again’

A mum has spoken about how she turned her son into the police, resulting him being given a life sentence in jail.

Donna Delbono reported her 19-year-old son Joshua to the authorities after he knifed Charley Bates, 16, to death over a £20 debt.

Joshua had stabbed Bates to death in a car park in the town of Radstock, Somerset. When he returned home in Frome, his mother called 999.

On Tuesday (April 11), Delbono was jailed for life and told he must serve a minimum of 21 years behind bars.

She has told the Daily Mail that she would do the same thing again and has no regrets about her decision.

“I was brought up to know the difference between right and wrong, and to always try to do the right thing in life, no matter how hard it is. Even though it was such a tough choice to make, I know I’d do the same again,” she said.

“I couldn’t have lived with myself if I’d chosen instead not to call the police. I feel terrible that Charley Bates lost his life and my sympathies go out to his family.”

The mum-of-seven’s call to the police was played in Bristol Crown Court earlier this week.

The jury heard her say: “My son’s killed someone. It was at Radstock earlier. He’s just come back and I’ve found out. He’s in my house now but I can’t let him go anywhere.”

Donna Delbono reported her 19-year-old son to the police (Facebook)

When asked by the operator if he knows she is on the phone, she responds: “Yeah, he’s here. I’ve told him I’ve got to do it.”

The mum-of-seven later passed the phone to her son, who told the operator: “I don’t know anything about him (the victim) at all. I went in to help my mate. I thought ‘I’m not getting stabbed’.”

Donna had returned home from a night out with friends when Joshua confided in her what had happened.

When he returned home he told his mum that he was “scared” and “didn’t know what to do,” but she said “there was only one thing he could do – hand himself in to the police.”

“But he said he was too terrified, so I said if he wouldn’t call them, I would. He just nodded. So I grabbed my phone and dialled 999,” Donna added.

“My son will have to live with this for the rest of his life.”

Joshua Delbono was sentenced to a minimum of 21 years behind bars on this week (SWNS)

Joshua and Charley had began scrapping in the carpark, when others began to get involved in the brawl.

Joshua picked up a knife he claims was left in his car by its previous owner, and stabbed Charley through the heart.

Him and his group then left the scene in Radstock, Somerset, after less than five minutes. Charley was pronounced dead a short while later.

Joshua then tried to cover up his crime by burning his clothes a short while later.

During the two week trial, the jury were told Delbono, of Frome, Somerset, accepted stabbing the victim – but denied murder.

After seven hours of deliberations, a jury found Joshua guilty of murder.

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